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Having computer issues? Reza can help

Tigard High student is ready to bail you out with your IT help.

Photo Credit: TIMES PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Reza Fouladian, 17, has already secured a job as chief technology officer of an online company, thanks to the work of Tigard High Schools Information Technology programReza Fouladian isn’t your typical 17-year-old.

The Tigard High School senior has already secured his dream job as chief technology officer for an international Internet startup company.

Fouladian loves computers. He’s a staple at TigerNet, Tigard High School’s technology lab.

“I’ve taken all the classes they have to offer,” he said. “I’m usually in here as long as I can be after school, until everyone leaves, and they kick me out.”

Fouladian’s passion is in information technology, fixing glitches and making computers work.

“IT is probably the only thing I really enjoy,” Fouladian admitted.

Fouladian does work with Tigard High School’s IT department in his spare time, fixing computers and other machines on the fritz and building new machines for classrooms. He came in over the summer to help set up the school’s technology before teachers returned to their classrooms.

After school, Fouladian works at Vontarga Technologies, which offers seniors and baby boomers ad-free and private access to Internet services.

Fouladian is in charge of all things technical. From setting up servers, to fixing code and website issues.

“We haven’t found anything that he can’t do,” said Vontarga’s CEO Reid Iford.

Iford — who has known Fouladian since he was 9 years old — said the company had gone through four CTOs before he realized the perfect man for the job was right under his nose.

“We were always going to Reza with our problems, and we realized, why don’t we just hire him?” Iford said. “He always gets the work done and knows what he’s doing. Within 72 hours he had turned the company around.”

Iford said Fouladian’s passion for the work has made him an invaluable member of the team.

“We will be on a conference call with people on different continents and talking about what we need done, and we will ask Reza when he thinks he can have the work done, and he’ll say, ‘I just did it — it should be done,’” Iford said.

Much of Fouladian’s success is due to Tigard High School and its technology teacher Steve Fulton, Fouladian said.

On the walls outside Fulton’s classroom is a list of the 66 professional certificates available to IT specialists.

For the past few years, Fulton has worked with Wilsonville-based Mentor Graphics to offer the certifications at a reduced cost to high school students.

Fouladian has been able to accrue several professional certificates in high school because of the special program.

“Most certification tests cost about $300, but I can take them here for $10 or $20,” Fouladian said.

It’s all part of Fulton’s plan to get students on their feet as quickly as possible in a field where technology changes drastically every year.

“When they get their diploma, they walk across that stage just like everyone else. But in their hip pocket, they have as many as five, eight, 12 professional certifications to get a job right now,” Fulton said. “Our mission here is to put out ITs that will be able to earn a living wage from the first day they leave high school.”

Fulton’s program has proven to be popular with students.

“This year, we had more ITs than ever before,” Fulton said. “We had 100 kids that wanted in the program, but there wasn’t room.”

Students learn everything there is to know about the IT field, Fulton said, so they can hit the ground running when they graduate.

“Reza is an exemplar, but he’s not the only one,” Fulton said. “My kids are everywhere.”

Iford said what Fulton is doing is clearly working.

“When Reza was 9 years old, I was mentoring him. Today, at 17, he’s mentoring me,” Iford said. “That’s no exaggeration.”

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